Rarely am I at the river in the afternoon, but yesterday my worries for our sick kitty (now much improved) postponed my morning excursion. So I went at midday, hoping but not expecting to see any horses or eagles. Sometimes, just the sound of the water and the colors and scents of the warm desert are gifts enough.
But when I went to my lookout spot for an eagles' nest, I could see a Baldie sitting down in the tree where its nest was collapsed by a fierce storm last spring.
It's a bit of a hike to get to the spot where this photo was taken, and there was no guarantee that the eagle would stay put, but it seemed worth a try. There have been many mornings lately when I've seen both eagles atop this tree, but this was the first time I'd seen one back down in the nest location.
So I hiked to & from vantage points along the river and took photos from a variety of angles. The nest perimeter zone across the river is closed by law from December through June, but I would never enter it when the eagles are present at any time of year, for fear of disturbing their home territory. So all my eagles' nest photography is shot long-zoom & cropped, and thus not super sharp -- a small tradeoff for getting to observe this beautiful pair.
What I was photographing (basically aiming at a white blob with a smaller yellow spot above the dark shadow of the nest) proved, when I finally saw the photos on the computer, to be both eagles in their nest.
Clearly, they have already been at work rebuilding what was a badly collapsed nest structure. I'm told they have nested in this tree for at least 6 or 7 years, and apparently they are staying put for the upcoming nesting season, which is very happy news indeed.
It will be exciting to watch them (from very afar) over the coming months. The devotion of wild creatures to raising their young is amazing, and I hope their efforts will be rewarded with two healthy eaglets.